Sophie Svendson. My great-grandmother; a woman who married, had children, suffered hardships, and found joys in beautiful things, left me through her daughter, my grandmother Lillie, three possessions. Though my knowledge of Sophie is only inferred from photos, one with husband and one with children, I am linked to her by genetics and by her watch which my parents gave me one Christmas several years ago.
Recently I’ve begun wearing it almost every day. Comfort comes with the old and vintage. A living breathing someone touched this piece, wore it, treasured it. Her bible is now also mine, its cover a deep, rich purple velvet frayed and worn from use which tells me she believed. It is inscribed with her name and the date 12 August 1880.
These ties to one genetic line of my past remind me I belong to a line of people whom I have never met but who have influenced who I am today. Belonging is fundamental.
There is another line of people to whom I belong. I possess not their genetics but their faith. Their life stories are a gift of knowledge and inspiration. Knowing they touched the Unseen, heard His voice and told me all about it also brings comfort. But more than comfort is the encouragement to keep believing, to keep standing strong no matter what comes my way.
Faith ancestors have left you and me the words of God, but also majestic churches, grand beautiful music, and a great variety of art as faith expressions of what they believed and as hints of the glory that is to come. You and I are links in time, connected to the past and connectors to the future. The great I AM invites all who will to come close. Listen carefully. Touch and be touched by His presence. What will you leave to those who follow you?